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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Obituary: Marx, Robert Woodruff

MARX, Robert Woodruff Robert Woodruff Marx left this earth life on December 9th after a long and fulfilling sojourn.

His was a life of service and giving.

He lived to be 100 and taught Gospel classes twice a month at church and sang in the church choir until a few weeks before his passing.

He rarely missed attending his LDS church services; three hours every Sunday.

When he became sick with pneumonia three weeks before his passing, his family wanted to take him to the hospital, but instead, he wanted assistance getting to his kitchen table, where he had his scriptures and books spread out so he could prepare the next lesson he was to teach at church.

He was born in Hamilton, Montana on August 29, 1914 and always felt the Bitterroot Valley was a bit of heaven on earth.

His parents, Edward and Barbara Marx, were the nucleus of the little branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in their small town.

Robert grew up in a home where he learned to be honest, respectful to others, to have faith in God and to work hard (these were the Depression years).

These virtues were engrained in his soul, and he loved, embraced and emulated them all his life.

In 1939 when he was twenty-five years old, he married Dorothy Dishman, the girl next door with whom he had made mud pies as a child.

Dorothy said she never remembered a time when she didn’t love Bobby Marx.

They shared a life of love, laughter, work and faith.

Their greatest accomplishment was bringing six children into their marriage; Dennis, Linda (Terry), Loretta (Strand), Darrell, Douglas and Donald, all of Spokane.

They have 26 grandchildren, 57 great-grand- children and one great-great grandchild.

Every grandchild and great- grandchild cherishes the birthday card and dollar bill for each year of life they’d faithfully receive each year from Granddad, even after he became a centurion.

In 1947 Robert was called by Apostle Ezra Taft Benson to be one of the first two bishops in the newly-formed Spokane Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Robert was scared to death to be asked to take such a heavy responsibility at the young age of thirty-three, but with faith in the Lord, he persevered.

When he became bishop, the first item on the docket for the newly-formed North Spokane Ward (congregation) was to build the first LDS chapel in Spokane at Post and Indiana.

Members of the congregation provided the volunteer labor themselves as well as organized money-raisers to help with the building costs.

That building is still used today and is where Brother Marx attended church until his passing.

Robert loved music and as a boy he would hang around a neighbor’s porch, hoping to be invited in to play their piano as his family had none.

His mother agreed to let him take piano lessons so the church could have someone to accompany the hymns.

Robert served the church at the organ for years.

But his greatest musical love was jazz and people at church could tell when Brother Marx was at the organ, as he just couldn’t help himself and would occasionally add a little trill or jazzy passage to the hymns.

When he was in his eighties, he formed a jazz band that routinely played tunes from the Big Band era in nursing homes throughout Spokane.

Most in his nursing home audiences were younger than he was, as he performed until he was ninety-eight.

Robert loved to garden and has a drawer full of blue ribbons won for vegetables entered over the years at the Spokane County Fair.

He often commented on how we could see God’s hand in the miracle of life as each seed planted and nourished grew to a full, mature, life-sustaining vegetable or fruit.

How he loved to work the ground.

Robert was the co-owner of the Northwest Floor Covering Company in Spokane.

His career in the floor covering business began in 1939 when he answered an ad in a Spokane newspaper for a “non-drinking floor layer”.

When he answered the ad and assured the owner that he not only didn’t drink, but didn’t smoke either, the owner was so tickled that she hired him on the spot.

He eventually co-owned his own company.

Robert loves the covenants made with God in LDS temples and served weekly as a Spokane Temple worker until age ninety-four.

He knows life does not end at death; that this mortal probation is only a small part of a great eternal plan provided by a loving Heavenly Father who has called him home to be reunited with his sweetheart, parents, and a forever family of loving ancestors.

Funeral services will be Saturday, January 3, 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Church at 732 W. Indiana.

RIPLINGER FUNERAL HOME entrusted with arrangements.

Online guestbook at www.riplingerfuneralhomecom

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